Mabon History

Celebrated on the Fall Equinox.
Celebrated with wine, apples, garlands, gourds and cornucopias. With
decorations of orange, russet and maroon.
Honoring the aging Gods and Harvest deities.

  Mabon History
Mabon (May-bawn) is also known as the Feast of Avalon and the festival of
the Wine Harvest. To the Celts, Avalon is the mysterious place for the land
of the dead. and literally means the "land of apples". Thus this is a
holiday for celebrating the bounty of the harvest and the desire for the
living to be reunited with their deceased loved ones.

But the holiday is also named for the Welsh God Mabon. Mabon means the
"great son". He was the son of Modred, kidnapped at the age of 3 and later
rescued by King Arthur. His life represents the innocence of youth, the
strength of survival and the growing wisdom of the elderly. Perhaps it is
this view of the cycle of life that brings Mabon to his most popular role,
the King of the Otherworld and the God of Darkness.

His myths overlap with other Gods such as the Welsh God Gwyn Ap Nuad, which
means "white son of darkness". He is seen as the God of war and death, the
patron God of fallen warriors. Once again this is a representation or
connection to the Land of Avalon.

  The Purpose of Mabon
As a holiday, Mabon represents the time of honoring the dead, visiting
burial sites, giving thankfulness for the end of the harvest season and the
bounty it provides. These are the themes of closing, letting go and
remembering. For the year, the harvest and for those who were lost to land
of Avalon during the year.

Although many view the Harvest season as a celebration of life, it is also a
celebration of death. The bounty you gather from your garden provides
nourishment for you, family and friends. But it is also the death of those
plants and vegetables which have been harvested from that garden. Thus Mabon
is a celebration of the cycle of life.

  Mabon Celebration
There are many ways to give honor during this 2nd harvest festival. One old
traditional way is to visit the burial sites of your loved ones, placing an
apple on their marker. This represents the promise of the Great Spirits for
renewed life (a new incarnation).

This is a Celtic festival of thanksgiving, so what a better way to give
thanks than to prepare a meal with the harvest of your garden. Those that
indulge in wine can brew a new batch of this home made nectar of the Gods.
Those that do not indulge, can brew preserves and jellies from grapes,
raspberries and blackberries. Don't forget an apple pie for dessert.

A main course can consist of meats, most often red meats. But this is just a
suggestion. In this day and age of healthy eating, you should prepare a meal
that fits your personal lifestyle. However, your side dishes should consist
of late summer and early fall vegetables.

During your meal, share tales and happy stories about those you lost during
the year. Or share your experiences and review the lessons you feel you have
learned during this past season. Reflect on your deeds and actions and give
thanks for the gifts you were given.

After your meal, share the chore of cleaning up. This is a way of showing
honor and respect to your host and hostess. Think of it as a physical action
to show that you understand the interconnection of all life and the desire
to respect what you have been given and thanks for receiving those gifts.

During the evening hours you can continue the festival with a formal holiday
ritual. There are as many ways and suggestions for conducting such a
ceremony as there are people on this planet. But if you need a detailed
example you have two places on our network to look. For a simple Celtic
Ritual or Ceremony Outline or I invite you to visit our Wiccan Star site and
review the Mabon Sabbat Ritual.

End your evening in private reflection. It is important for anyone
practicing a spiritual life to reflect on his or her actions. Record your
thoughts, your emotions and your experiences. This is the true value of your
book of shadows. And there is no better time to take stock of yourself and
your life than during a High Holy Day.